Are you gay enough for asylum? “Judges and immigration officials are adding a new hurdle in gay asylum cases that an applicant’s homosexuality must be socially visible,” said Lori Adams, a lawyer at Human Rights First, a nonprofit group, who advises people seeking asylum based on sexuality. “The rationale is that if you don’t look obviously gay, you can go home and hide your sexuality and don’t need to be worried about being persecuted.” [more inside]
High school student "comes out" to entire school on MLK Day. Extraordinary.
Right before the 10th anniversary of the first same-sex marriage in Canada, Saskatchewan's highest court has ruled that a proposed law allowing provincial marriage commissioners to refuse to wed same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Thecourt.ca gives its thoughts on the decision and the social context surrounding it.
GLBT rights advocate Carolyn Wagner has passed away. In 1996, Carolyn's 16 year old son, William, was assaulted in his school in Fayetteville, Arkansas, following years of anti-gay harassment. School administrators rebuffed his complaints, telling him to man-up. His mother, Carolyn, filed a complaint with the Office For Civil Rights that the Fayetteville Arkansas School District was in violation of their son's Title lX rights and succeeded in convincing the OCR that GLBT students are covered by Title lX, and won. [more inside]
Bayard Rustin was an important civil rights activist, the chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington and an invaluable strategist to Martin Luther King, Jr. Despite opposition relating to his status as an openly gay man, he continued to contribute throughout his life to the struggle for racial equality and later, for gay and lesbian equality. [more inside]
Growing Up Gay (Part 1, Part 2) is a two-part documentary series exploring the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people growing up in Ireland. As recently as 1993, homosexuality was illegal in Ireland. As the first generation born after decriminalization comes of age, this series seeks to establish how much has changed in Irish society in the intervening years. For young people, whose lives revolve around school and the family, is it any easier to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender today than it was 17 years ago?
Born This Way! Photo/essay submissions that capture men and women, innocently, showing the beginnings of their innate gay selves.
Butt (previously) interviews Didier Lestrade, former publisher of classic French gay zines and periodicals like Magazine (scanned archives) and Têtu. “Unlike many young fags today, we knew our gay history. We were learning all the time about all kinds of stuff and we were always eager to lean more…. It freaks me out to think how quickly we went from creating our own history to not caring about gay history anymore! It happened so fast. No one has even begun to collect and preserve all the material from the Paradise Garage, the Saint, etc., and now gay people don’t seem to even care.” [more inside]
(NSFW) BUTT magazine (previously, previouslier) has undergone a huge redesign this year and asked readers to submit reviews of their sexual encounters. They don't always go well. [more inside]
The anti-gay donations that Target apologized for? They never stopped.
“A member of the armed forced wrote our bib numbers on our foreheads and arms in permanent marker, presumably to facilitate the identification of our dead bodies.” What happens when a gay man in his 40s and his boyfriend decide to run the nearly insane Tough Mudder obstacle course amid a sea of generally shirtless “non-homosexuals.” Tasks include manhandling lubed-up monkey bars, fording ice-cold lakes, and conquering steep mud hills. (It almost – but doesn’t quite – include falling into a burning ring of fire.) [more inside]
Short Film: A New Flavor -- Sometimes you need a best friend to take the ice cream away and make sure you don't give up on love. (mildly NSFW.)
Peter Grudzien lives in New York and makes psychedelic country music or at least used to, since only two albums of his material ever came out, The Unicorn in 1974, and The Garden of Love, which is mostly a collection of demos. His songs are varied, ranging from noise music to straight up country, and their subject matters are equally wide-ranging, from strange fare, such as lyrics about his clone being at Stonewall, to straight-up love songs. His best known original is probably The Unicorn, a beautiful song whose lyrics recast the early 70s New York gay demimonde in terms of a barren zombie-filled wasteland which will be reborn when the titular unicorn is found by the queen. Other songs on YouTube are White Trash Hillbilly Trick, New York Town and an instrumental cover of the Georgia Gibbs hit Kiss Me Another. Finally, here's a lovely cover of The Unicorn by Calgary folkie Kris Ellestad.
Echoing the brutality of the Matthew Shepard case, a Texas teenager blames his slaying of classmate Josh Wilkerson on unwanted gay advances. (He has also been charged with failing to identify himself and attempting to take a weapon from an officer.) While the "gay panic" defense is often considered something of a joke, it's clearly still very much alive.
Photos of US soldiers and vets engaged in non-violent protest against "DADT" in front of the White House.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is an exhibit of photographs by Jeff Sheng that is currently on tour in the US. A sharp contrast to his previous work: Fearless, which highlighted young Canadian and US athletes who openly identify as gay, lesbian or transgendered, this new exhibition shows gay American servicemen who cannot, so they have been photographed in uniform with their faces hidden or outside the photo's frame to protect their anonymity. Flash Galleries: DADT 1, DADT 2. [more inside]
Faggot. Michael Procopio, food writer, chef, sometime waiter, makes mincemeat out of his least favorite word.
This might not be the best named Tumblr blog ever, but the content, vintage photographs of gay and lesbian couples, makes up for it. Some photos mark the extraordinary events in life, such as these reunited WW2 sailors, while others present a slice of everyday life.
Bishop Jim Swilley of Conyers, Georgia's megachurch Church In The Now has announced to his congregation that he is gay. He was moved to make the announcement after the recent national coverage of gay suicides. Queerty has more details and video reports, including video of the sermon where he made the announcement. [more inside]
Out and Proud - Gay and lesbian personnel from the New Zealand Defence Force talk about their lives. In his 30-year career with the army, Wood has attended conferences with officers from American services. The notable difference is that Wood can stand alongside his partner of seven years, Gerald Johnstone, and introduce him as such.
Add some purple to your outfit today! October 20th is LBGTQ Spirit Day. Show your pride by remembering those who have taken their lives because of gay bullying
Want to know what your old high school is doing to protect and support its LGBTQ students? Write Your Principal encourages and collects correspondence about anti-bullying efforts between alumni and their alma maters. [via projects]
A message to small-town high school bullies: you now risk being made an example of across the entire nation.
Fort Worth city councilman Joel Burns shares his own anti-LGBT bullying story before Fort Worth city council this past Tuesday. [via Victory Fund] This is yet another successful video of Dan Savage's It Gets Better campaign. [previously]
"We realized we'd never seen a Coming Out Day feature dedicated to the experiences of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered persons in the sciences and engineering." Science journalist Steve Silberman interviews Neena Schwartz, and gathers personal stories from Eric Patridge (President of Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Tomlinson Holman (inventor of the THX Sound System), and others. [more inside]
Two weeks ago, a Jewish newspaper in New Jersey, the Jewish Standard, published a wedding announcement for a same-sex Jewish couple. Now they're apologizing for it and saying it won't happen again. [more inside]
Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi committed suicide this week after his sexual encounter with another young man was broadcast online by his roommate via hidden webcam. Afterwards, Clementi probably started this thread at justusboys.com [NSFWish ads] (screencaps here) asking for help in coping with the incident. His last contact with the world was a Facebook status update reading simply: "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry." Many thousands have acknowledged his passing on several different FB tribute pages. Another page cries out for the roommate, Dharun Ravi, and his accomplice Molly Wei, to be charged with more than just "invasion of privacy." Previously, related.
Cloture to force a vote on the fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill has not been achieved. DADT will stand. Chances are not better in a possibly more Republican Senate post-November, and the bill is unlikely to pass before then. Republican voters against cloture: Every single senator; Democratic voters against cloture: Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor.
It gets better. Billy Lucas committed suicide September 9th. Hate messages have been left on his memorial page. Dan Savage was looking for a way to reach out to every gay kid in high school and tell them that they have something to live for, so he started another youtube channel, encouraging submissions from those who have gotten through it. Dan has a well known sex advice column and podcast. Previously
She read from notes, stumbling occasionally, and did not so much lean on her metaphors as wrestle them to the floor and grind them underfoot; but they loved it anyway - all 15 minutes of it. She attacked everyone from the president on down, demanded stricter standards for America's service personnel, espoused an aggressive red-meat constitutionalism, and proposed a new policy which she summed up as "if you don't like it - go home." The 2,000-strong crowd cheered wildly as she literally howled her frustration before leading them, fists pumping, in an anti-incumbent chant of "Go home!" A strange mix of patriotism and petulance, it was a rough kind of stump speech that hadn't been tested in a focus group or tried out on a campaign aide, and which was delivered with complete disregard for how it might play in the media. Witness the startling political debut of Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, American citizen.
Queering the Guinness Book of World Records: at 33 hours, Matty and Bobby have achieved the world's longest kiss.
Concerns for the safety of Russian lgbt activist Nikolai Alexeyev. "After passing passport control at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, Mr Alekseev’s boarding pass was cancelled and his luggage unloaded from the plane upon a request from Russian authorities. He was taken into custody around 19:00 MSD, and has not yet been released." Text messages stating that he was withdrawing his case before the ECHR and seeking asylum in Belarus are believed to be fake or coerced under torture.
Don’t just touch Paul Bellini – tattoo him on your arm! That kooky writer from The Kids in the Hall, Paul Bellini (NSFW blog), developed cult infamy as a result of recurring appearances on that show wearing next to nothing but a bath towel. Who indeed can forget the subsequent Touch Paul Bellini contest, in which one Rebecca Klatka of St. Petersburg won the right to do just that? (Video proof. Inevitable Facebook group.) A decade and a half later, Eric Cedrone of Buffalo takes the prize for Most Dedicated Fan of Man in Towel with his arm tattoo of Bellini in said towel, voided area used to advantage.
Microsoft Corp. and Xbox Live are apologizing to a 26-year old gamer for suspending his Xbox Live account because of information in his profile. The offending text? Fort Gay, the town he lives in. [more inside]
Montana Tea Party president Tim Ravndall was fired today due to public outcry over jokes about the murder of Matthew Shepard -- Ravndall's contribution to a discussion on Facebook about the recent ACLU lawsuit filed on behalf of seven gay MT couples who wish to get married. Last week, Montana GOP senate candidate Jason Priest ran into similar trouble on Facebook. (Priest supports the criminalization of homosexual acts.)
Ken Mehlman, the former Republican Party chairman who ran George W. Bush's gay-bashing 2004 presidential campaign, has come out of the closet. He does not apologize, but says he will now work to legalize gay marriage.
Journeyman Pictures has uploaded nearly 4000 videos to YouTube. Many of these are trailers for the documentaries they sell, but they have also posted hundreds of full-length videos. Most are for short documentarie, but there are a lot of features too. It's somewhat daunting to explore, but the playlists are a good place to start, and so are the shows: Features, Shorts, News and Savouring Europe, a European travelogue series. Here's a few interesting ones: Gastronauts, about French culinary students working to make astronaut food more palatable, Demon Drummers, about student Kodo drummers, India's Free Lunch, about the effects of free school lunches on Indian society, The Twitter Revolution, about YouTube and Twitter's role in the 2009 Iranian uprising, Europe's Black Hole, about Transnistria, the breakaway region of Moldova, Small Town Boy, about a gay male carnival queen in a small town in England, The Vertigo of Lists, Umberto Eco talks about the ubiquity of lists in modern culture and Monsters from the Id, about scientists in the science fiction films of the Fifties.
And then, from across the room, their sewn-on eyes meet. Why do socks fall in love? (Single-link Flash video player. And it’s a park, not a room)
Not all queer or LGBT people are for legalizing gay marriage. The Against Equality collective argues that legalizing marriage values one type of relationship over another (.pdf), doesn't do enough for queer people of colour, and plays into the larger class struggle. Beyond Marriage calls for "access to a flexible set of economic benefits and options regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender/gender identity, class, or citizenship status". Queer activists in Maine consider the marriage issue a "distraction from improving the lives of gay people", and Questioning Transphobia argues that "marriage by its very nature is an exclusive practice, its purpose is to ennoble some relationships and by default render other relationships to be less meaningful and less worthy of legal and social recognition". Mainstream queer women's website Autostraddle ponders all this and asks: does gay marriage make gays straight?
This is CTRL+W33D it is a gay weirdness tumblr blog. It is NSFW.
In an unusual about-face for such a public Conservative personality, Ann Coulter (the "Right-Wing Judy Garland") will be headlining an upcoming gathering of Gay Conservatives called HOMOCON 2010. Reaction on all sides of the aisle is mixed, to put it charitably. [more inside]
The Independant's 2010 Pink List... and why Stephen Fry is giving up his Number 3 spot to Louie Spence. [more inside]
With a ruling scheduled today on Prop 8 — the California ballot measure that took away the right to marry from same-sex couples — Dave Fleischer has an in-depth analysis of all of the polling data on Prop 8, and his findings include some counter-intuitive numbers, like that the confusing wording actually ended up helping the No vote more than the Yes.